For the Record: T-44-85 – short review
Hello everyone, today, we are going to talk about the upcoming (allegedly in 8.11) Soviet tier 7 medium premium tank. But – you might ask: how can we talk about the vehicle noone has ever seen in combat? We have no idea, what it will do in random battle! Well… now we do: That’s right, the T-44-85 appears on the press account in its latest and most updated version (with buffed penetration). A little history first though: many of you remember that the T-44-85 was scheduled to appear as early as in patch 8.9 along with the German tank destroyers some months ago. It was present during the common test (where I wrote a brief review about it, praising its mobility) – it wasn’t a bad tank back then, but suffered badly from its poor penetration (on tier 7, it basically had a 126 PEN gun (167 with gold ammo)). This led to some negative reviews and criticism, making Wargaming pull it out of the test for re-work and that was the end of it. Next the vehicle was probably scheduled to appear in patch 8.10, but it didn’t make it again, but they didn’t manage to rebalance in time and now it’s scheduled for 8.11. In case you are interested, this is how it look in patch 8.9 and this is what got changed in patch 8.10. This is how its modules currently look: When I discovered this vehicle was available on the press account, I simply HAD to take it for a spin to a few random battles to see, if there is a chance I’d actually buy this tank in the future. And guess what: it’s amazing. For one, it plays a lot like the T-54. And I don’t mean the current T-54. I mean the overpowered, pre-nerf T-54. But why is that? Well, at first glance, it’s somewhat unassuming. The armor is not exactly top notch (sloped 75mm, giving you some 110-120mm of effective protection, depending on the point of view due to its favourable slope). The frontal turret is 115mm thick and the mantlet itself is cca 120mm thick. The gun is the upgraded 85mm S-53 (this gun was mounted to the T-34/85 tanks), with – “thanks to newly discovered better ammo” – improved penetration: 147/210/43 (200 DAM!). This gun has decent ROF (9,52), but is not very accurate (0.42) and it has only average aiming time (2,3s). Depression is not stellar, but sufficient (-6). As for mobility, the vehicle weighs 31 tons and has a 520hp engine. So, what makes it so special? Well, two things. First is, this tank, even though it does NOT accelerate very well (again, imagine T-54) is VERY agile, possibly (apart from the light tanks) the most agile vehicle of its tier. On flat surface, it literally dances around the opponent, an ultimate brawler. You won’t be bothered by an inaccurate gun, when you run around a Tiger in circles. But of course, there’s a price for such agility – as I said, the acceleration is not very good and the 520hp engine will allow you to go only as fast as 45km/h on flat surface (maximum speed can be reached only when going downhill). When maneuvering around an enemy tank, you have to be careful not to start climbing uphill or to get on a soft surface, because you WILL get stuck, slowed down and killed. The agility helps you in this case not by necesserily outturning your opponents, but by having enough time to turn the hull, shielding yourself with your frontal armor. As I mentioned before, this vehicle is a pure-bred brawler. You won’t be able to snipe too much, but the frontal armor is (for its tier) excellent and you will dish out a lot of damage to softer targets. And there will be plenty of soft targets, because this is probably the most ridiculous feature of this tank: it has limited MM. That’s right, you will definitely see no tier 9 tanks with T-44-85 and (as far as I could tell) not even tier 8′s! Now, let it sink in. A 147 pen 200 dam gun with heavily sloped frontal armor and an amazing agility, fighting only tier 5, 6 and 7 tanks. Yes, it is hilariously overpowered like this. Tier 5′s can’t even scratch it and you don’t even have to pretend to think about flanking, you just stand there, bounce everything and kill one tier 5 and 6 after another. When dealing damage, the only tanks you can’t simply take on frontally are the Russian heavies. I am pretty sure this however is not intended and in the end, this vehicle will see tier 8 tanks, perhaps even 9, but right now, it’s just broken. There was a situation when I was standing in that twisted Ruinberg corridor, holding off 4 or 5 enemy tier 5 and 6 tanks, they all were shooting and everything bounced (apart from detracking shots) and I picked them off one by one – the developers probably didn’t intend for this to happen. And the result of such a battle? Well: As you can see, this tank can make a lot of money too. Conclusion I think I will buy it. I will wait for the test obviously with any decisions, but even with regular matchmaking, if they don’t nerf the gun or the agility too much (they still might), it’s a really good preparation for the T-54. I actually think this vehicle will be even more successful on Russian server, because it requires some aggressive gameplay and that’s how they play out there, but even on EU it’ll IMHO be a good purchase. What I like about it that it isn’t a one-trick pony. Doesn’t require some special tactics to be really great (E-25 comes to mind), it does a lot of things well, maybe even too well.